Tooth Fillings in Mill Woods, Southeast Edmonton

Amalgam Free Restorations

We generally strive to be a mercury-free practice. However, few people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past and either because of medical reasons or otherwise, wish to restore their teeth with amalgam.  We cater for those needs.  However, many of the patients do find that these fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Tooth-colored restorations are now the restoration of choice. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.

Disadvantages of Silver Fillings

Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and creates an environment where cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split. Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak, and cause stains on your teeth and gums.

Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with tooth-colored restorations.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations

The result is a beautiful smile!

There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin fillings are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact.

Bonded Fillings (Composite Fillings)

One of the alternatives to amalgam fillings is bonded fillings which are natural or tooth-coloured composite restorations.

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth.  Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.  They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing space between two teeth.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth.

Placement of Composite Fillings
The space is then cleaned thoroughly and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay is near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication is applied for added protection.  The composite filling is then precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

Inlays and Onlays

When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay.

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.

How are inlays and onlays applied?

Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is made by the dentist, and sent to a lab for fabrication. The dentist will then apply a temporary sealant on the tooth and schedule the next appointment.

At the second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed.  Your dentist at Agape Dental Clinic Millwoods will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.